Karanwas, an ancient city renowned for its splendour, extraordinary architecture and artwork, detailed frescoes and temples of great antiquity is located on the banks of the sacrosanct Ganga River.
A visit to Karanwas will take you back in time specifically to the Mahabharat Period as there are several temples, structures and dharmashalas of this time. One of the oldest temples of Karanwas is the Mata Sheetla Devi Mandir at Kalyani Devi Ghat.
Locals say that Karanwas was originally a Bhrigu Rishi kshetra and came to be called Karanwas after Daanveer Karna. It is said that Daanveer Karna was a Devi upāsaka and used to spend a great deal of time in tapas (penance and austerities) on the banks of the Ganga meditating on Lalitha Devi.
Also known as Lalita Devi Mandir, this temple is adjacent to the famed Maa Kalyani Devi Mandir. Pilgrims come in large numbers to offer their prayers in the auspicious months of Chaitra, Magha and Shravan and Navaratri. People take a dip in the Ganges, make a variety of delicious offerings and perform rites and rituals as prescribed in the Vedas to seek the blessings of Divine Mother.
It is heartening to see this quaint place, a reputed seat of Vedic Sciences untouched by the savagery of the Muslim invaders and British.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)